#20 – Health: A Jenga™ Game?

A picture of a Jenga structure.

Do you ever wonder what causes health to disintegrate? When you have lived with a chronic disease for as long as I have, that question becomes somewhat of an occupational, or perhaps, a recreational activity.

Some the factors that contribute to good health and a sense of well-being include:

  • Genetics.
  • Access to clean water.
  • Adequate nutrition.
  • Sanitation.
  • Freedom chemical additives.
  • Exercise.
  • Rest.
  • Healthy body weight.
  • Environment.
  • Social connections.
  • Good emotional management techniques (stress techniques).
  • Spiritual connections (through religion, nature, art, etc.).

I marvel at how resilient, yet fragile the human body is. Why can some bodies take so much abuse and still function? What accounts for the differences? How do we explain the variances?

I look at health as a game of Jenga.

In Jenga, players must first build a tower out of rectangular wooden blocks. Taking turns, each player removes a block from somewhere lower down in the structure. They then must add it to the top of the tower. The game ends when the tower tumbles.

Imagine that the balanced Jenga structure is a representation of good health. At various points in your life, you may be neglecting or ignoring some of the previously listed factors. Or you may not be aware of the importance of them to the whole structure or body.

Given the resilience of the human body, you are able to maintain your health or, at the very least, bounce back in a reasonable amount of time. However, at some point, when you ignore another aspect of health or remove one more “Jenga piece”, you suddenly (so it seems) succumb to ill-health and disease. As in Jenga, you never know when the structure - you - will topple.

In the game of life, doesn't it make sense to look after as many factors as possible? You do the best you can, becoming aware of how you do things, gain knowledge and then put it altogether in practice, with lots of practice!

Maximize your life - optimize your emotional, mental and physical health.

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